Author Topic: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2  (Read 190331 times)

Offline “Mark”

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #510 on: September 06, 2010, 02:08:12 AM »
Come spring, try planting some squash or pumpkin inside the stump. I've been told it works well for busting them up, as squash roots are strong. It would make an interesting experiment. I haven't been able to test it myself.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #511 on: September 08, 2010, 08:07:54 PM »
It may be another season or two before the stump is ready for that sort of experiment, but I don't see any harm in trying it.

It is transition time, more clean out of summer plantings and putting in fall & winter stuff.

I set myself back a bit slicing my shin open on a stake in the garden last week (see below) and then I spent the better part of the weekend @ the BOL working on the finishing the well house.



I fixed the wound myself (proud to say it worked out very well too).

What's coming:

I found a good deal on basic silverskin garlic and french red shallots (both under $5.00/lb) and plan on expanding these plantings quite a bit.  I also found some local (in state) "potato" multiplier onion sources as well, so we'll give those a try.

I also have sown lettuce, carrot and spinach seeds and am about to put out 100+ seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts & cabbage. 

In the meantime peppers keep coming in and the pole limas have gone ape with flowers in the last couple of weeks.

I promise I'll catch up on photo updates soon.

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #512 on: September 11, 2010, 08:07:26 AM »
Glad your leg is getting better so you can get out there and keep working!    ;D

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #513 on: September 11, 2010, 02:20:06 PM »
I'm still trying to figure out how a poblano pepper could get hot. I finally got one the other day that was a bit warm but most of them are almost boring. I dry a lot of them whole (ancho chili's then) to add to chili and stuff in the winter. Your garden is awesome and I hope the leg is healing well. Looked painful.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #514 on: September 11, 2010, 04:35:55 PM »
I don't know OKG, there are exceptions to the norm for any of these plants.  I've had summer squash so bitter it was inedible whole the same type planted next to it was fine. 
I picked a few more today so we'll give them another shot in a day or two.






I've been trying to get the fall garden in over the last couple of weeks but it is taking more time than I counted on.  The bed that gave me 1000 Romas is now full of broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. The landscape fabric is covering a jillion spinach seeds (helps germination dramatically in hot September sun)




Offline Sweethearts Mom

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #515 on: September 11, 2010, 06:49:02 PM »
Please please give me step by step instructions for getting spinach to germinate because I have never been able to do it.

also beets. I love beets and just can't get them to grow.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #516 on: September 12, 2010, 11:08:42 AM »
My experience:

Beets, never tried.

Spinach won't germinate well in warm soil, same with carrots.   Lettuce is the same but seems to tolerate more warmth that spinach.  I've also found that spinach seed isn't a great keeper and germination rates fall off significantly with time.   This very well may be due to stuff I do or don't do, so try it yourself yrmv.

Temperature generally isn't an issue in the spring for obvious reasons. 

For the "fall" plantings, I cover the soil with shade cloth or landscape fabric for a couple or 3 days and water every day.   This has a dual purpose, to cool the soil underneath ad little and to evenly distribute moisture in the top few inches. 
I soak the spinach seeds for a few hours before planting (put them in a cup of water in the morning, plant them in the evening).  When I plant, I pull back the fabric and make several shallow "V" bottomed trenches in the moist soil then sprinkle the seeds in along the trenches very unscientifically spaced (ie tight).
Without covering the seed, I re-cover with the cloth and then water heavily immediately.  This seems to cover the seeds just enough and it leaves the early sprouters with a little headroom.

This is the carrot box I seeded a few days ago; carrots take a while to germinate so I'm not worried (yet.)  You can see the "trenches" in both shots.





I also experimented earlier using straw over spinach seed planted using the "broadcast and rake" planting method.  I got great initial results almost right away and thought I was on to something.  Unfortunately, germination ceased as quickly as it had started.  Looking back I'm pretty sure it was due to night time temperatures.  We had several low 60s evenings in the week after I put the seed in but temperatures have jumped back up again since (90s in the day, barely under 70 at night).  I'm hoping when fall finally arrives to stay I'll have more sprouts.   

This is what it looks like as of yesterday; I promise you the seeds were broadcast much more tightly that this and that this is maybe 15-20% germination so far.


Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #517 on: September 12, 2010, 12:18:19 PM »
My experience:

Beets, never tried.

Everything you said for spinach applies also to beets.  I think they are a little easier than spinach though.

Hey, you said you've had about 15-20% germ on spinach.  Have you tried using a lighter colored shade cloth such as white or green or even red.  If you can reflect back some of the sun instead of absorbing it you might have a little better rate.  Just a thought, you are doing better than me so take that with a grain of salt.   ;D

J

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #518 on: September 12, 2010, 02:28:02 PM »
KYD, the 15-20% was referencing the scatter/rake bed under the straw.
I get a lot better under the shade cloth. 

I didn't have enough to do all I wanted so I am trying the landscape cloth based on recommendation in a garden blog somewhere.

I agree that lighter color would help but I haven't gotten off my butt and procured any yet.  ;)

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #519 on: September 12, 2010, 03:01:00 PM »
KYD, the 15-20% was referencing the scatter/rake bed under the straw.
I get a lot better under the shade cloth. 

I didn't have enough to do all I wanted so I am trying the landscape cloth based on recommendation in a garden blog somewhere.

I agree that lighter color would help but I haven't gotten off my butt and procured any yet.  ;)

Oh, gotcha.  I'm with ya, not enough time to do everything I want either.

J

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #520 on: September 12, 2010, 07:07:55 PM »
I'm jealous. We're still way too hot to plant spinach. Days in the 90's nights in the 70's. Maybe another couple of weeks if we're lucky. By Samhain for sure.Then fresh spinach most of the winter, woohoo.

Offline Sweethearts Mom

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #521 on: September 12, 2010, 08:39:40 PM »
Granny we are here too in N TX. I am waiting!

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #522 on: September 15, 2010, 04:59:51 AM »
A while back I ordered a "soilcube" through the MSB and have recently put it to use.

No time for detailed review at this point but I will say:  It works!  (After I read the tips and tricks again)

With the MSB discount it is about $25 shipped- a great deal cheaper than any other I've seen and it seems sturdy enough for my home use.





New cubes:



Lettuce reaching for the sun.  The roots are already to the bottom of the cubes but the cubes are holding together just fine



I recommend this.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #523 on: September 15, 2010, 08:24:12 PM »
I have one, but haven't had a chance to try it out yet... did you follow their recipe for mixing up the soil?

Offline johngalt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #524 on: September 15, 2010, 08:49:09 PM »
Hey Cohutt, what size is that soil cube?  I got the 2" blockmaker(made in England) before the soilcube guy was in the MSB.  It looks to be a 4" model.  If so, I would like to get one.  Do you know if he makes a 2" dibble attachment to fit the other block sizes within (for potting on)?  If it is a 4" blocker, may I suggest you get a smaller one as well (when starting LOTS of seeds indoors space is usually limited until you can move them outside/or pot them on).  I think you will love them....you can almost throw away all of those flimsy little seed starter packs.

Finally back from a long time away from the home PC and couldn't wait to check out your garden pics.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #525 on: September 16, 2010, 04:18:04 AM »
Lvschant,
I didn't follow the formula exactly but what I had was pretty similar.  I used what I had and didn't add "soil" or fertilizer


jg,
good to have to back checking in.....

This is a 2" model as well and it seems to be a pretty good overall size to me.

http://www.soilcube.com/


Offline johngalt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #526 on: September 16, 2010, 10:19:37 AM »
Quote
This is a 2" model as well and it seems to be a pretty good overall size to me.

I would agree for the most part.  This year I started the tomatoes 8wks before calculated last frost, and the tomatoes got too big for the 2" blocks, so I had to pot them on anyway.  I just couldn't keep them watered well enough, or nourished enough with the 2" blocks for the last 3 weeks or so.  I need to decide whether I should start them later or get the larger block maker.  After expirimenting all year with the blocking mix, I came up with what appears to be a pretty good blocking formula...I haven't had to use soluble fertilizer on any of the starts with this latest formulation.   
One thing I did find with my earliest blocks was that I compressed too much soil into the blocks...they looked great, but after pulling some of those early starts from the ground, I noticed that the roots were similar to the peat pot starts I had a few years before....not good root penetration out of the block.  After adjusting that, I have not seen the same problem, and you will absolutely be amazed at how fast the transplants take off with the blocks vs. pots.

Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #527 on: September 16, 2010, 10:54:57 AM »
Dang do you guys work for him or something? LOL  Well, either way I'm sold.  I just ordered one with my MSB discount. Hopefully, I'll have a lot more success next Spring than I did this one.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #528 on: September 16, 2010, 12:24:52 PM »
I will say that Clayton the soilcube guy is OK in my book.
Apparently he was in the process of moving when I ordered and my order was delayed a bit- he thought he sent it prior to the move but discovered after wards that it wasn't shipped.   Nothing too bad; he emailed me to apologize for the delay and when the package arrived, it included a second soilcube tool to make up for it. It wasn’t necessary but a nice touch just the same.

I put the 2nd one back in case I break the first one, given my abilities in breaking stuff I thought it would be a good move.  :)

JG the lettuce in the picture above has roots out of the bottom at the time of the picture, so I'm assuming I didn't compress too lightly.

The recommendation is to water using a fine spray squirt bottle. I did this initially but then found the lower parts of the block to be pretty dry and now supplement the watering a bit.  I add maybe 1/8th an inch of water to the tray and it is absorbed up from the bottom of the blocks (as well as the spraying 2x per day).  The blocks are staying together pretty well too.

Offline johngalt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #529 on: September 16, 2010, 08:33:20 PM »
Quote
JG the lettuce in the picture above has roots out of the bottom at the time of the picture, so I'm assuming I didn't compress too lightly.

That's a good sign.  I thought my early ones were ok too because I had roots coming out, but I think the blocks hardened once in the ground, and they were not always well watered.  Any way let me know if you want the soil recipe I used.  Its a slight modification of the one Elliot Coleman uses in "the New Organic Grower".

THey are remarkably durable - especially once the roots get goind.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #530 on: September 19, 2010, 08:41:11 PM »
Ol King cole is about all in -

I have Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage & brussel sprouts transplanted int0 5 different beds





The last of the bush limas are out including this small planting area outside of the raised beds;  it is now planted in turnip greens (which have germinated and sprouted in only 3 days.  3?  that seems fast to me, maybe it is normal.





It ought to be a good spot for the greens- site of an old compost pile and following a legume planting

Offline Sweethearts Mom

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #531 on: September 20, 2010, 08:55:11 AM »
You have such a huge area that is weedless. It is like your whole yard is a wonderful garden. Can I assume that you have no bermuda grass? Everytime I clear an area here w/in 24 hours the freaking stuff starts to send out runners!

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #532 on: September 20, 2010, 04:24:22 PM »
I have zoysia in the closer part of the backyard. it creeps but nothing at all like common bermuda.

In the back I had a mix of shade loving grass, weeds and ground covers.  I removed the canopy and had it ground and shot back  onto the ground vs having it hauled off.  The day it took to spread it out was a chore but thus far it has done a great job smothering everything that might want to sprout through.   Back towards the end of chapter 1 there are some pictures of the piles of chips.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #533 on: September 20, 2010, 08:41:24 PM »
I found good prices and service @ Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden http://www.groworganic.com/default.html this year when looking for garlic and shallots.  My order came in today and the box smelled pretty damn nice when I opened it. 3 pounds each of silverskin garlic and french red shallots, plus a pound of elephant garlic.  

Even though the elephant garlic isn't a true garlic (a leek actually) I was astounded by the size of a single clove.  
Left to right = a head of silverskin softneck garlic, a clove of elephant garlic, a shallot.






Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #534 on: September 21, 2010, 10:34:27 AM »
How many Elephant cloves are you going to plant per square foot vs regular garlic?  It's freaking huge so, I'd think you wouldn't plant as much per sq ft.  Thanks for telling me about that deal by the way.  What seeds did they send you extra? I saw they throw 2 packs in.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #535 on: September 21, 2010, 04:44:53 PM »
I ended up with 2 types of chard, some breakfast radish, St Valery carrot and Red Deer tongue lettuce.  Maybe one more that I paid for?

My pound of elephant garlic isn't but 5-8 plantable cloves (not counted yet), a little more than one head it seems.  By contrast silverskin softneck bulbs might yield 90 decent cloves per lb.  (This is going to be a challenge since I have 3 lbs of this)

So- I think Ill do the elephant cloves in a row about 9 inches apart and effectively squeeze 4 into 3 squares - maybe, I;ll have to check my math.

I a few weeks I'll crack open the softneck heads and separate all the large cloves then evaluate the space and plant accordingly. 

Ditto with the shallots

It looks like I might have to build another bed in the next month. (oh well)

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #536 on: September 21, 2010, 06:16:53 PM »
hehe, sounds like me with ammunition...
I bought a rifle 'cause someone gave me ammo.

you're making an extra bed cause you have more cloves... I love it :P

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #537 on: September 21, 2010, 06:38:37 PM »
i understand that formula as well gw

;)

Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #538 on: September 22, 2010, 09:21:14 AM »
Good point Cohutt.  If I order elephant Garlic I'll pretty much have to put at least one new bed in. Oh well, I guess a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.  ;)

Offline swoods

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #539 on: September 22, 2010, 01:58:22 PM »
You guys are too funny. Ahhhh, the sacrifices you are willing to make for the sake of your garden/family/desire to eat and grow your own food!!

For the record, I love the garden posts. I have learned so much from reading about all the gardens that have been created by forum members!

Thanks!